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Profile Evaluation - 720 GMAT

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Profile Evaluation - 720 GMAT [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2014, 12:24
Hi All,

1) I worked at one of the major integrated oil and gas companies for over 2 years, in the finance management development program. I worked multiple roles, including spending 7 months in West Africa leading a large testing process (leading the process on short notice for over 50 employees), as well as shorter travel to other African regions. I received top reviews. I am now an energy trader at a major power producer in the US. I am currently here, and looking at being moved to a senior position w/in 2 years.
2) 720 GMAT. 42V/47Q, only 70% quant percentage which I could do much better on, but I also have a financial background including A grades in multiple calculus and statistics classes.
3) UT Austin, 3.7GPA, Finance major, 2010 grad
4) A bit low of the community service after college, but I have been involved w/ both Habitat for Humanity and a local Children's hospital. I also organize and play multiple intramural sports. In college I had a leadership position in my business fraternity. Will need to step this up.
5) I have a power systems certification used in the power industry
6) Target programs are the top 5-10, especially HBS, Stanford, Chicago
7) I plan on applying in Fall 2015
8) Post-MBA I'd either like to move into international business development in the energy industry

I know I need to improve my extracurriculars, and potentially improve my GMAT quant score? Any idea where I can get in at?

Thanks!
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Re: Profile Evaluation - 720 GMAT [#permalink] New post 24 Feb 2014, 02:28
Your profile is really good. For MBA applicants, Universities are very keen on the leadership potential, and as you are expecting a senior management position in some time, you should work towards getting that position and then put your application for MBA. The schools are also going to ask, why you are planning to do an MBA so soon after MS Finance, so you should be prepared to answer why there is a need to do an MBA at all. Your GMAT score is decent, but as you mentioned that you can improve your Quant, so we would definitely recommend a second attempt. For finance related courses, they do focus on the Quant scores.

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Re: Profile Evaluation - 720 GMAT [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2014, 13:24
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Hello,

You do have a strong profile overall. I wouldn’t worry too much about scant extracurriculars. The 70% quant GMAT won’t be a problem since you clearly possess the requisite quant skills. That said, a higher GMAT is always helpful -- but since yours suffices, focus on it only if you are sure you can raise it with reasonable effort. If not, focusing more on other things makes sense.

For the top MBA programs that you mention, I'd consider you qualified, but they would be reasonable reaches. Your greatest strength is your fascinating career – it differentiates you. To really make the most of it (i.e., to make it work for you strategically in the application), present your insights and reflections from this career path and link them to your goals. Most of the applicants your target programs reject are qualified (often well qualified), so your challenge is to make your application answer the question: why should the program admit you over other well qualified applicants of similar industry, geographic region, function, etc. Developing the application to answer that question will keep you appropriately focused and help you make decisions regarding what to write about in essays, who to ask for recommendations, etc.

Another school that seems like it would be a good fit, along with those mentioned, is MIT's Sloan MBA. It would be a reasonable reach. Possibly consider Texas/Austin as an on-par. Also Duke.
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